America's "March King," John Philip Sousa, was born 160 years ago this week on November 6, 1854. At the age of 20, Sousa took over conducting "The President's Own" United States Marine Band for 12 years, during that time introducing some of his best-known marches, including "Semper Fidelis" (the official march of the United States Marine Corps), "The Washington Post," and "The Thunderer." Within the 10 years after leaving his post with the Marine Corps, he created the bulk of his most famous works, including "The Liberty Bell" (known well by all fans of "Monty Python's Flying Circus"), "Manhattan Beach," "King Cotton," "El Capitan," and arguably his most famous work of all, "The Stars and Stripes Forever," declared by Congress in 1987 to be the official national march of the United States of America. "Stars and Stripes" has been played by a number of Drum Corps International groups in competition through the years, perhaps most notably by the Argonne Rebels in the early 1970s, Madison Scouts and Bridgemen in the nation's Bicentennial Year of 1976, and the Madison Scouts once again in the late '80s. In a salute to the "March King," we've put together this video mashup of the 1976 Madison Scouts, 1976 Bridgemen, 1987 Madison Scouts and the 2005 Jersey Surf performing their renditions of one of Sousa's greatest works.
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